iPad Abuse Thumbnail (More to Come)

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“It was so much fun to play games in classes I didn’t like. It got me through those classes.”

“Here’s the move when [the teacher] tells you to put your iPad away: you pull the iPad from the keyboard [ZaggFolio], close the keyboard on your desk, and keep the iPad in your lap. We watched March Madness that way.”

We’re coming to the end of the iPad experiment; I’ll be posting some summary comments toward the end of the year. But since today was the first day back from break, I thought I would initiate a conversation about what the students thought about the iPads. The quotes above were my favorite by far, however anti-establishment they might be.

Can’t post much now but will try to post more about the conversation later. Did want to share those quotes, though.

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Socrative Redux

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I’ve posted before about student response systems, on-line assessment, etc., as well as the fact that we’ve moved into a new school, so there has been some acclimation, both physical and technological. One of the consequences of the move which I’m less than thrilled about is that I can’t seem to find the receiver that runs my Promethean ActivExpression system; until I do, that system is rendered impotent.

So the other day I was contemplating a pop quiz for my seniors and how I was going to administer it; I likely wouldn’t have used the ActivExpression system anyway, because for such a short quiz the time it would take to set them up probably wouldn’t have been worth it. But we were headed to a computer lab, so I thought I would give Socrative another try.

Socrative (http://www.socrative.com) is an on-line assessment tool. You sign-up on-line for an account (in the fall, when I signed up, it seemed they were in the experimental phase, i.e. they were only looking for specific types of people to sign up to test the system. From what it looked like yesterday, they seemed (though I didn’t confirm this) to have opened themselves up to anyone. In any case, you assign yourself a ‘room number’, and when students sign-in (and they don’t need an account), they type in your ‘room number’. Once you start your quiz, the quiz appears in their ‘room’.

The quizzes themselves seem relatively versatile: multiple choice, short answer, etc. Socrative of course grades as you go (though you can disable the immediate response feature), and then emails you a spreadsheet of the results (and you can see that spreadsheet live as well; see picture below). So a successful experiment, and something I’ll have to revisit, especially when kids will have their own computers next year.

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Evernote & Student Portfolios

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Saw this post on the Evernote blog and was intrigued: http://blog.evernote.com/2012/02/28/how-to-create-a-portfolio-with-evernote-education-series/. I’ve toyed with the idea of portfolios for the last few years, but never could quite wrap my brain around the logistics of them, either in terms of content or assembly. Using Evernote to collect, organize, and share elements of the portfolio seems a compelling option. Too late in the school year to start, but something to think about for next year, especially as we move forward with our 1:1.

Some (General) Apps for Teachers

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Received this post from @bhsprincipal and found many of the apps included interesting / innovative (and most of them I’d not heard of): http://www.the-teachers-lounge.com/blog/2012/03/technology-timesavers-for-teacher/.

Not all of the apps are free, but all are under $7. I downloaded the two free ones (Common Core and Teacher Asst., the Lite version), and passed on the pay ones (for now; and I had known about Dropbox & Dictionary.com).

Teacher Asst. seems interesting; I’m daunted by the set up, especially this late in the year, which might prove a stumbling block, but it also seems similar to a website to which I was recently introduced: http://www.classdojo.com. These sites aren’t terribly useful to me, teaching mostly juniors and seniors, but they seem an interesting approach to classroom management and assessment.